Smartphone Apps of the Month—April

April is here! It’s when my family and friends plan our many outdoor excursions for the spring and summer. This month, I’m reviewing two apps that are sure to provide convenience and fun—with or without the April sun. Being that April 22nd is Earth Day and the theme is ‘Trees for the Earth,’ let’s all get outside and enjoy the outdoors. It’s time again to fully appreciate all the natural beauty out there. I know I will!

National Parks Wildlife Guide—for iPhone & Android

NPCA appIt seems like I can hardly find the time to garden these days. Whether you enjoy working with plants or not, you can always enjoy nature’s own garden, the national parks! With the National Parks Wildlife Guide app in hand, it’s easier than ever to view all the flora and fauna by park. This free, interactive app from the NPCA is your field guide to the wildlife and plants of 100 national parks.

Besides getting a fun crash course on all the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians you may encounter, the NPCA app shows you how to identify the native trees and wildflowers at each park, too. I like being able to search for endangered species…and especially any poisonous plants to avoid. I learned a long time ago that some adventures just aren’t worth experiencing!

The NPCA app is highly rated for all the right reasons! It’s a great resource of useful information about each park such as major sites to see, directions, hours and fees, and convenient web links. I really like the ease of checking into the availability of campsites, all from this app while I’m on the road. Plus, I can learn about the numerous amenities at each park and share them with my fellow explorers.

I also think it’s great that ever since 2011, Consumer Cellular has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association and helped support their worthwhile efforts. We can all continue to search for ways to protect our national parks so that every generation can enjoy them. No doubt, the local wildlife will appreciate it, too!

Allergy Alert—for iPhone & Android

Allergy alertI’ve found there’s no perfect cure for hiccups, but I did discover a great way to cut down on sneezing and sniffling. Allergy Alert is a ‘must-have’ free app for many of us this time of year.

If you’re like me and suffer from the non-stop annoyances of hay fever and whatnot, you truly need accurate and reliable allergy reports ahead of time. Allergy Alert allows you to consistently manage your symptoms and continue on with life’s activities.

With a swipe of a finger on your smartphone screen, Allergy Alert displays five days of weather and allergy reports along with forecasts for multiple locations. Let me assure you; they’re also very thorough! It’s the only app I know that updates you on the top allergens (Oak, Cedar, Juniper, Birch, Maple, Elm, Ash, Ragweed, Grass, Pigweed, Mulberry, Goldenrod and more). And, it gives you detailed plant descriptions and images.

Speaking of images, one of my favorite features of Allergy Alert is its dynamic screen. Background photos actually change depending on specific allergen levels, showing you pictures of trees, grass or perhaps ragweed. So for example, when I open the app, I might see trees in the background one day. At a glance, I’m alerted of higher pollen and then know to take my allergy pill immediately…taking priority over even my morning coffee!

The diary feature within Allergy App lets me track any symptoms, so I can also plan ahead for next year’s allergy seasons. Once compiled, I can even view my diary data on a calendar or as a chart for future reference.

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, another trail seems to lead me to something new. I bet you can relate. Thankfully, this April I feel especially prepared with NPCA and Allergy Alert. This world is full of untouched splendor. Whether you take in joy of nature alone or with others, I wish you the happiest spring ever!

14 Thoughts on "Smartphone Apps of the Month—April"

  1. Gordon L McCleary says

    How can my phone be used to summon uber?

    reply to Gordon

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great question, Gordon! There is an app that can be used to reserve and pay for Uber, but for feature phone users like yourself, you may want to try their website. Thank you for asking!

      reply to Ashley

  2. Jan says

    Where can I get a new or renewed phone activated?

    reply to Jan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re happy to help you do that, Jan. If you purchased a new phone from us online or at one of our retail partner locations, just look for the activation information that was included with your purchase. Otherwise, we’re happy to activate your phone at 888-345-5509. Just be sure to call us from another phone in case we need to make some adjustments to settings. Thank you for asking, and we look forward to speaking with you!

      reply to Ashley

  3. Lois Blei says

    How can I stop harassing calls, they let it ring two times and hang up, no data is sent….uggg very annoying!

    reply to Lois

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We agree, Lois, that sounds very annoying! I took a look at your account, and I’m glad to see that Traci was able to test your phone to ensure it is working properly. Per your conversation with her, please let us know if the issue continues and we will be happy to assist you further. Thank you for calling us, and if we can help you with anything else at this time, just let us know. Thank you!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Sharon Clark says

    Stupid ? — but just started with iphone 5s and not sure what is data hogging app. How does Siri and Waze app effect data time? What else is a big data hog?

    reply to Sharon

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Congratulations on your new iPhone, Sharon! We’re glad to hear you are getting to know your new phone. In general, turning off the location services and GPS function can help reduce your data usage. This would include using the Waze app, which requires your phone to report a location. We also recommend connecting to Wi-Fi whenever you can, so you can enjoy your apps without using data from your plan. You have the ability to allow some apps to use data, as well as removing that option for other apps. Just open the Settings app, then tap Cellular. We’re also happy to walk you through this if you like at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you enjoy your new iPhone!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Barb says

    I’m on this blog because I’ve been waiting over 40 min. after the first representative was to transfer me to tech support…..still waiting!!!

    reply to Barb

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We apologize for the wait, Barb. Thank you for being so patient with us. I took a look at your account, and I see that Michaela, your account advisor, was able to help you troubleshoot this issue, and disable the setting that may be causing the problem. If the issue continues, please let us know at 888-345-5509 and we will be happy to look into it further. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us today, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Debbie says

    I am with T-Mobile right now and want a cheaper phone service, but don’t want less service or calls dropped. I now have a Samsung Galaxy S5, I am paying $76.20/month for Jump Plan, $40.00 for Unlimited Talk & Text with 500 MB Data for 1 line. I still owe $136.00 on the phone I have….I was informed it is a locked phone!
    I am interested in trying an iPhone but don’t know what I would have to do to switch service or what the total coast would be. Can you please give me some idea? My phone is used mostly to text my sister in Richmond and for emergency calls from my elderly parents ( I am their main caregiver and must be on call 24/7 ) I want to keep my phone number as my Mother has Alzheimer’s and know this # and has it written all over her house in case she needs me. I am 60+ and may be losing my job due to outsourcing in the near future, so I need to keep the monthly charges low.
    Thanks for your time.

    reply to Debbie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      I’m happy to help answer these questions, Debbie. First, it sounds like we may be able to save you some money each month! You can take a look at our plan options here, and decide which plan may suit you best. The great thing about our plans is that you can change at any time. If you find yourself needing more of less, you can adjust accordingly. Once your device has been paid for, you can request that it be unlocked. Then you could likely use it with one of our SIM cards, saving you money on a a new phone.

      If you really want to try an iPhone, we have a great interest-free payment plan called EasyPay. You’ll pay one small down payment when you purchase the phone, then we’ll add $25 per month to your invoice until the device is paid for in full. It’s that easy! We’re happy to talk with you about our plans and make a recommendation if you like. Just give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we will be ready to assist you. Thank you for posting, and we look forward to welcoming you to Consumer Cellular!

      reply to Ashley

  7. Susan says

    Huawei MediaPad T1 10 – can this device be programmed to operate as a WiFi hot spot for other devices, such as laptops?
    Thank you!

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We can assist you with that, Susan. All we need is for you to give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we can get that setup for you. We do want to remind you that using the Hotspot feature can result in a large amount of data usage in a short amount of time, so it’s best to use it sparingly, such as when you’re away from your home Wi-Fi network. Thank you for taking the time to post today, and we look forward to speaking with you!

      reply to Ashley

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